Mathematicians as video game villains, part 3: Brouwer

October 26, 2009



Story: Man, no one knows what this dude’s deal is, but he’s friggin’ pugnacious. Armed with blunt force and sharp intuition, Brouwer never retreats from any battle. Unlike other villains, the very thorough Brouwer is never satisfied to leave his foes in the grip of a death machine, content in the knowledge that they can’t not die. To him, there is always another possibility, and he insists on being there when your last life runs out, and on inspecting the body himself. Only an equally-determined adventurer should dare offer opposition.

It’s also not known how such an unusual choice of characters got chosen to play the role of his sworn enemy, the Fubini Brothers:


On the left, Fubini, and on the right, the often-neglected Tonelli. While in reality Italians and turtles for the most part coexist peacefully, for the purposes of this game, they are sworn enemies.

Powers: Intuition. Brouwer is very hard to fake out, so you have no choice but to use your slight speed advantage to its optimum, dodging at the last second more often than not.

Also, simplicial decomposition. Sometimes, Brouwer likes to break the stage into little pyramids. has complete command over pyramids, so you should try to work quickly. If he completes the simplicial decomposition, then you’re pretty much sunk at that point.

Signature move: Find The Fixed Point. A magic crystal continuously moves things back and forth on the giant disc on which you fight him. Every time it does this, he uses his intuition to find a point which will not be disturbed by this tumult, and stomps down hard on it, claiming it as his own so as not to get tossed about like everyone else in the ensuing chaos, also demonstrating that he’s better than you because he actually knows where the fixed point is. Nyah, nyah.

Weaknesses: Excluded middles.

Strategy: First, annoy him really bad by telling him your favorite two-line proof that an irrational number raised to an irrational power is sometimes a rational number. This will throw him into a convulsive fit of angry stomping, in which he shows off his Find The Fixed Point power again and again, demonstrating the superiority of the constructive approach… or so he thinks. In the process, he opens up a hole in the floor.

Ending: Standing on neither one side nor the other, and there being no other conceivable platform on which to stand, he freefalls. You can only assume that there’s nothing off-screen to catch him, though Brouwer himself doesn’t rule out the possibility, offended at the thought that everything has to stand on one platform or its opposite in order to claim a share of existence. You’re almost certain that since Brouwer isn’t on either of the two platforms, then he simply does not exist anymore. Fubini and Tonelli walk off into the sunset satisfied that their work is done. The curtain falls, and then the message “the end?” appears on screen.

Man, that’s a really corny suspense cliche right there.

Rumor: If you play the game while your microphone is plugged in, and the music of Cantor is playing, then Brouwer gets even angrier. Truly, there are no depths of marketing gimmickry to which producers will not stoop these days. However, at least this is more in line with the nature of turtles. They really hate death metal. If you don’t believe me, find a turtle and some Slayer and try it yourself sometime in real life.


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